David and I got home this morning at about 10:45. When we pulled in the drive, a little Cocker Spaniel was standing in our yard. I jumped out and coaxed it over towards me. It was a little girl, emaciated, and obviously nursing puppies. I looked for tags or for a neighbor who might own her, but it was pretty obvious she was on her own.
David and I cleaned her up in the bath and cut a bunch of her matted hair. I named her Ophelia. We decided to drive over to the Animal Control center, a place that takes in strays. However, when we got there we learned that there was a chance she'd be put down. We didn't like the idea of leaving her there, fate unknown. So we decided to bite the bullet and take her to a vet in town.
The clinic was extremely full and I waited by myself for about 2 hours while David went home to take care of Charlie. I sat in the waiting room with some very interesting people. One man told me the pitbull puppy he had was the 5th he'd saved with his foster son and that they were going to build more kennels in the yard this summer so that they could save more. A woman told me she got her dog as a medic because she was recently diagnosed with diabetes and the dog knew how to call 911. Another man told me about the horrors he'd seen in Iraq, and after having one of his men kill himself 20 minutes after he'd left him, he decided to commit suicide as well. His dog found him and got someone's attention to save his life.
The vet told me Ophelia had ear mites, a severe flea infestation, hook worms, and was about 15 pounds underweight. He gave me three types of medicine and sent me on my way. David came and picked us up and we decided to walk around with her to see if we could find her puppies.
About 15 minutes later, a neighbor I'll call Redneck Nora came rushing out. "Lady! That's Lady!" At that moment, after having spent 5 hours and a good deal of money to save Ophelia, we find out she's "Lady." Redneck Nora went on to explain that her husband had just recently lost his car because he found out it was actually stolen and she doesn't have a car or a license or a job because of her recent DUI and she has a baby and she can't afford to buy the expensive dog food like "Kibbles and Bits" and that's why the dog was so skinny. As for the ear mites, hook worms, and flea infestation, well, that's just part of "living in Florida." In all honesty, Redneck Nora was very grateful we took Lady to the vet and she even offered to feel badly about not paying us back, but we politely declined.